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Adult adoption
  • Published:
    02 February

Would the UK economy be boosted by a rise in adult adoption?

In Japan only a small fraction of adoptions are of children; 98% of adoptions in Japan are actually of adults. Although this may seem like a bizarre concept to the Western culture, it provides them with a clever solution to a problem that is also faced by UK businesses, particularly family-owned ones.

As the transition to each generation becomes more challenging, family business owners in Japan source high-quality managers from outside of the business and adopt them into the family. These newly adopted family members then form part of the family business’ succession plan. Household names such as Toyota, Suzuki and Canon have all taken this approach.

Would this solution work for UK family businesses looking to plan for the next generation? Duncan James, Head of our Family Business team, comments on why he thinks the idea is unlikely to be successful in a Western culture.

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